If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
We all have our “wish I could live ….” places and often find ourselves drifting to that place when we dream of easier and carefree days when we can do whatever we want to do, and be who we want to be.
I have listed my three favorite cities as Manila, New York and Paris — in that order. And the truth of it is, after having visited Paris twice (and still dreaming to go back for just a vacation sans the pressure to walk around and see the sights every waking hour) and living in New York for almost 13 years now, my dream nest is still Manila.
Although I now call New York my home, I still dream of how it would be if I were living in Manila instead. That might seem unthinkable for those who dream of making it to the United States and making a life here, but you always end up missing the familiar taste, sound, smell and feel of what has been home for three quarters of my life. Even as I established myself here in the big apple, I wonder how it would be if I were raising Angelo in Manila. He’d be going to La Salle or Ateneo (although La Salle would be the Dad’s preference), and I’d be working. I’d be close to Mom and the siblings… life would be “easier” because I wouldn’t be cooking, washing dishes, and I’d have someone who can do the groceries for me. Or I might be an entrepreneur with my dream store I’ve already named in my mind, “Art & Postal Love, etc.” (a stationery/paper crafts store). It’s a project my sister and I are hoping to do in the next 12 months, with me gathering the goods here for sending to Manila for her to sell in our store.
Before Angelo came, I dreamt of retiring in Manila. But now that he is growing up and we actually kid around about when he has his own babies and Mommy is old and needs help going to the grocery or the mall to go shopping, I know that “retirement” will be here taking care of his babies. =) That is a pleasant thought that wouldn’t be such a bad trade off for living back in Manila. Maybe I’ll do what some senior citizens do on this side of the world, living part of the year in Manila but still calling New York their home. That is many, many years away, though. I am nowhere near retirement, and my son is just turning 9 this May.
As I see Angelo growing right before my eyes, the dream is becoming more and more a dream in the real sense instead of getting closer to becoming a reality. It’s something to think about but not pine for — and I’m okay with that.
New York is home now and will be for a long, long time.